30 Days of Thankfulness — Day 26-30

“We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.” Neal A. Maxwell

Day 26: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Today I am thankful for so many things but most importantly my family! I’m looking forward to eating good food and just enjoying the day together. I love my family so much! Hope you all enjoyed your day with loved ones.

Also a very Happy 2nd Birthday to our sweet nieces Kendall and Madison! They are growing up so fast and are as cute as can be! We love these sweet girls so much!

Day 27: Having a lazy post-Thanksgiving day. Watched some movies and ate leftovers! Seriously just the best!

Day 28: USC beating UCLA (finally!) and heading to the PAC-12 National Championship game!!!!! FIGHT ON! GO TROJANS!!!

Day 29: My own bed! After being out of town for the past four nights it felt glorious to sleep in my own bed!!!

Day 30: Thankful for our health as well as the health of our friends, family and loved ones! Also loving this cold weather (woke up to 33* in San Jose)! Nothing but sweaters and lots of scarves!

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” Gerald Good

I really enjoyed doing 30 Days of Thankfulness again and hope you all did too. I have so much to be thankful for and I’m sure you do too! I love keeping track of and writing down everything I am thankful for, not only for this yearly blog series, but throughout the entire year! If you haven’t kept a gratitude journal I highly recommend that you do! Looking forward to doing this blog post again next year!

Hope you all had a wonderful long weekend celebrating Thanksgiving with friends, family and lots of good food! Have a great week!

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30 Days of Thankfulness—Day 17-25

“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day–or to celebrate each special day.” Rasheed Ogunlaru

Day 17: GORGEOUS sunset on my drive home from work tonight. This one just lit up the entire sky and was breathtaking!

Day 18: Date night with my mom! We went to dinner and then saw David Sedaris at the Center for Performing Arts in downtown San Jose. We both love David Sedaris and had a blast at his performance. I stayed after until 11:45pm just to get my booked singed!

Told him (jokingly) I got the same message in my book twice. David said that is one of his fears…writing the same message more than once in someones’ book. I said I loved it and it keeps me coming back! This time I didn’t get the same message but it’s very “Sedaris” so I’m not positing it hehe. Love that quirky guy!

Day 19: Love this quote by Piglet from Winnie the Pooh.

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Gratitude is everything and I have been practicing that through my yearly gratitude journals. I’ve really enjoyed writing down things that I am grateful for every day even if it’s something simple like a sunset, walks with my dogs, coffee with a friend, etc.

 

 

 

Day 20: Thankful for some pretty awesome co-workers! Tonight we had drinks and went bowling after work. We had so much fun! Without these people my job wouldn’t be fun at all. So glad that we are friends and getting out of the office to do stuff together! Love you guys!

Day 21: Gardening and doing some work around our house. So very thankful that we OWN a place and are working hard to make it our HOME.

Also a very Happy 4th Birthday to our sweet nephew Colton! Can’t believe that little guy is already 4 years old! Looking forward to seeing him and his sisters over the Thanksgiving holiday!

Day 22: Today I am thankful for Emma & Dash. I love these pups more than anything and they really make our family complete. I am so grateful to be their dog mommy and don’t know what I would do without them.

“A dog is the only think on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings ❤ ❤ ❤  

Day 23: Completing another 21 Day Meditation challenge! Yesterday was the official last day, but today we got a bonus meditation! I know I already posted about this challenge, but meditation has really become a part of my life and I have to give thanks again! I am so very grateful and thankful for my practice. When I talk about my practice or reflect on it, I always think of my dear friend Cassie (who I’ve blogged a lot about before). She is the person who introduced me to this wonderful world of mindfulness and meditation. Thank you again Cassie for all of your inspiration, love and friendship!

Day 24: My hubby. This guy is my best friend, partner in crime, love of my life and the one who makes me so happy and complete! I love him more than words can describe and I don’t know where I would be without him! Thank you Chris (Tof) for all that you do and for loving me unconditionally.

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Day 25: Thankful for a short work week and grateful for two days off from work! I feel like this is a much needed break. Looking forward to getting out of town and visiting with our SoCal friends and family!

“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” Maya Angelou

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! Hope you all enjoy yummy food, friends and family tomorrow! We will be driving down to Southern California this afternoon to spend the weekend with Chris’ mom in Huntington Beach. I will definitely be missing my immediate family, but am glad to spend time with my other family! There is so much to be thankful for, enjoy the day! ❤ ❤

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30 Days of Thankfulness — Day 9-16

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle

Day 9: To be alive!

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Day 10: Having flexibility in my job/work schedule. Caught naughty Dash standing/hanging out on the kitchen table via our video cameras and had to go home from work to clean up the mess. Good thing I did because he ate some Halloween chocolate/candy. Thankfully I was able to stay home from work and watch him in case he got sick (he did not!). Thank you Sara for letting me go home and not making it a big deal! I really appreciate the flexibility I have and your support.

Day 11: Thank you to all our military personnel for the sacrifices you have made for our freedom. Today we HONOR YOU and THANK YOU!! Happy Veterans Day! Had a lovely day off from work hanging out with my work bestie.

Day 12: Developing strong, positive relationships with people at SJSU. It was really nice to have lunch with one of these people. Thank you for continuing to encourage and support me!

Day 13: Having a great conversation with a faculty member I met at OPI. So thankful to have been able to go to NODA last month and participate in OPI. Feels good to have another cheerleader in my corner.

Also thinking a lot about the events that happened in Paris. Sending lots of love and prayers to everyone in Paris and hoping for peace. As Deepak Chorpa posted about the events; “Attack is on all humanity. The world must come together to stop the madness.” 12239758_10104257832241887_5202561625225816989_n.jpg

#prayforparis #peaceforparis

Day 14: Double date night with my work wife/bestie Ashley and her hubby Erwin. We went to SmashBurger for dinner and then saw the new Bond movie Spectre. We had so much fun with them and are already looking forward to the next time we can get together. I’m so thankful for my friendship with Ashley! She makes going to work much better! Hehe. Love you work wifey!

Day 15: Happy 1st Birthday to our little pup Dash! You’re a big boy now! We love you so much even if you cause a little trouble! We celebrated with new toys, lots of playing and cupcakes! This little guy sure has been more mischievous then Emma, but I’m still so glad that we got him! He really makes our little family of mini schnauzers complete. Don’t know what I would do without my pups.

  

Day 16: Thankful for long lasting friendships with girlfriends that I have known since college. No matter where we are (in the country of world) we always manage to keep tabs on each other. Just today (maybe it was last night) I got an email update and the core group of us were all on the email. After college we used to do this updates pretty often and then over the years have slacked off a little. It was a really nice surprise for a Monday morning. I love those girls more than anything and feel so lucky to have them in my life. It’s been a crazy ride from college to life as “grown-ups.” We’ve been in/or at each others weddings and now some of us are having kids (#1 or #2), adding dogs to the mix instead of kids or moving across the country. Although we might not see each other as often as we would like, they know me to the core and I know without a doubt they will always be there for me. Thanks for being such great girlfriends, I love and miss you!

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” Henri Frederic Amiel

Mindful U

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending another one of Cassie’s wonderful seminars/retreat called Mindful U. The retreat took place at the Stillpath Retreat Center in Woodside, CA. The last time I was at Stillpath was in 2014 for Cassie’s Your Mindful Brain workshop. You can read about that retreat here.

Stillpath is one of the most beautiful places. Just being among the redwoods already makes you feel relaxed. It was gorgeous and so clear out. We had great views of all the tress and the stunning property. I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to visit. Someday I hope to stay on the property and use the saline pool! These pictures don’t do this place justice, but you get an idea.

Mindful U is a new course/series that Cassie has developed. It is a highly interactive program that “delivers the what, why and how of mindfulness.” There are 6 progressive modules that are intended to help cultivate awareness in the hopes of achieving measurable improvements in all aspects of one’s life. The 6 modules include:

  1. Wake Up & Breathe
  2. Get in Your Body
  3. Come to Your Senses
  4. Board the Brain Train
  5. Sit with it All, and
  6. Plug in and Go!

Cassie made these beautiful U-Maps that were designated for each module. They were full of pictures, poetry, mini activities and plenty of space for us to take notes and doodle. I was prepared with my notebook to take a bunch of furious notes (have to soak up all of Cassies’ wisdom!), but her U-Maps were so much more fun. I felt like I could really engage in what Cassie was sharing for each module and be more creative in my “note-taking” since I wasn’t just using a regular notebook.

Throughout the day we also did some light mindful movement (gentle stretching) and had sessions that had us toggling between activity and rest. We did a siting mediation, body scan, mindful walk as well as other activities related to the modules. A delicious lunch was provided by Cassie’s own daughter Glo and her partner Sonya. They have a vegan catering company called the V-List and also do consulting for people interested in a vegan lifestyle. The meal they made for us was so yummy and I know was made with lots of love. One item we had was a creamy broccoli soup…leave it to the V-List to make a creamy soup that doesn’t use milk and is totally vegan! Check them out here. For a snack we had rosemary chocolate chip cookies…so good!

The below statue is located in the Great Room and I just had to take a picture. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I was admiring how perfectly it fit with the painting on the wall and the other women looking at it mentioned that that was done on purpose. Turns out she actually lives on the property (lucky her) and said that all of the pieces at Stillpath have been placed very intentional. Hehe of course they have! So cool.

The 15th century Tahi bronze statues is of Quan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy. She embodies compassionate kindness. According to the statue description, “as the Bodhisattva of Compassion, she hears the cries of all human beings. Often shown pouring a stream of healing water, the “Water of Like” from a small vase. With this water all living things are blessed with physical and spiritual peace. She holds a sheaf (bowl) of ripe rice seed as a metaphor for fertility and sustenance. The dragon, an ancient symbol for high spirituality, wisdom, strength, and divine powers of transformation, is a common motif found with Quan Yin.” WOW. So power, beautiful and perfect for the space.

I’m so glad that I was able to attend Mindful U. Cassie is so full of wisdom, kindness and I love being able to spend the day with her. I saw some familiar faces and met so many other great people. Can’t wait for the next retreat or seminar Cassie offers…you know I’ll be there!

Here are a few other quotes/images that I really love.

  

Meditation has done absolute wonders for me. I really do feel that these quotes hold true for me. Mindfulness IS a dance of happiness and I’m so happy to be doing this dance. Something has been missing from my life and it is meditation. I am so incredible happy and eternally grateful that I met Cassie back in 2012. I have said it before and I will say it again, I feel like Cassie has really “saved me”. It is because of her that I discovered the wonderful world of meditation and have made it a part of my life. I can’t thank you enough Cassie!

Cassie will be offering another Mindful U seminar in February 2016. Check it out and join us!

XoXo

P.S. Hope you all are having a great week so far! Looking forward to having the day off from work tomorrow for Veteran’s Day.

30 Days of Thankfulness — Day 1-8

Welcome back friends! Glad you are joining us for another 30 Days of Thankfulness. I first started this blog series in 2013 and am very proud to have kept it going. Again, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to continue with my gratitude journal, and I’m still doing it. There is so much to be THANKFUL for and APPRECIATE in this life. Thank you for letting me share with you!

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Day 1: A new month, clean sheets, hot shower and being able to spend the day relaxing.

Day 2: Starting another 21-Day Meditation Challenge put on by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. Meditation has done wonders for me and I have kept a continuous practice for 277 days now!! There is still time for you to join in this beautiful journey. Check it out.

Day 3: Long, cool/crisp walk with the pups. It actually feels like fall! Love my pups little feet crunching in the leaves.

Day 4: Incredibly thankful and relieved that my colleagues at UC Merced are all safe! What a terrible tragedy. It breaks my heart to hear that such violence happened on a campus that is so tight knit and rather quite. UC Merced is where I spent a summer doing my NODA Internship during graduated school and where I later worked as an academic advisor. I built many strong relationships there. Sending lots of love and prayers to the entire UCM community. To read about what happened, you can do so here.

Day 5: Receiving a nice note from a student. “Thank you for your patience and taking the time to meet with me.” Always feels good to hear something like this because it doesn’t always happen all that often. Looks like I’m doing good work!

Day 6: Mindful U retreat today. Spent a wonderful day in the mountains soaking up all of Cassie’s wisdom and doing something good for my soul.

 **Will share more about this event in a later post**

Day 7: Meeting baby Violet. I have been friends with Jenny (and Ashley) since the 7th grade. So thankful for our long lasting friendship. Pretty cool to have been at Jenny & Glenn’s wedding almost 6 years ago and now I’m meeting their 5 week old daughter! Violet is so precious and I can’t wait to watch her grow. Congrats Jenny! Motherhood looks good on you!

Day 8: Bagel sandwiches for breakfast from our favorite place in San Carlos and then going to the dog park with my parents and their dogs. Felt so good to be out in the cold weather and it’s always a blast watching our pups run around like crazy!

“‘Enough’ is a feast.” Buddhist proverb

🎃 Halloween Weekend 🎃

Happy Monday! Has everyone recovered from all of the weekend festivities? It has been a little bit of a struggle this Monday especially with the time change, but I’m making it work.

Here’s a recap of all of our FUN! 🎃👻🎃👻

Friday 10/30/15: Office Celebrations! As promised here is a little collage of my co-workers offices. They look pretty good right?! It was so much fun decorating! We are all ready to do it again next year! Sadly my office didn’t “win” the competition, but it was still fun. Very sad today to have to take it all down though…

In addition to decorating our office, we also did an office theme for dressing up. Can you guess?! SUPER MARIO! Work on Friday was pretty much just hilarious! We took so many ridiculous pictures and totally met with students with our mustaches on! LOL. I feel like I wasn’t very productive, but that’s ok. We had a potluck, where I ate too much good food! It was a blast dressing up in a theme this year and so many people got into the Halloween spirit! Did any of you dress up for work?

For my character, I dressed up as Luigi’s evil twin Waluigi. Pretty close comparison right?!?!?!?!? I think so! Haha. Clearly I have no problem dressing up and being ridiculous!

Friday Night: Pumpkin Carving After work we headed to my bestie Ashley’s house to carve pumpkins. We ate pizza, hung out and carved some really good looking pumpkins! It was fun seeing Christina and her boyfriend Brett as well. We really need to get together more often!!! I miss these girls! Check out our spooky pumpkins!

Hubby did a skull and I did a scary/fire face. They look so good lit up!

Saturday 10/31: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! 🎃👻🎃👻 My favorite holiday of the year!!! This year we went to hang out with our friends Jess & Dan who live in Oakland. They just got back from their honeymoon to Vietnam so we couldn’t wait to hear all about their adventures. USC and Cal were also playing, so we spend the first part of the day munching on snacks, drinking beer and watching football. After the game we took the pups on a little walk and took a bunch of “family” photos at this little school/park. Some of these really turned out great! Emma and Dash also went down the playground slide which was hilarious to watch!

I love this picture of Jess with the pups. Totally looks like Dash is the one taking the selfie LOL. Thanks for loving our dogs as much as we do Jess & Dan! 

For dinner we had pizza and more snacks but the best thing was that Jess made fodu in a PUMPKIN!!!! OMG it was delicious!!! Yum! We spent the rest of the night watching Pitch Perfect 2 (yes you read that right!) and then taking it back to the 90’s by watching Scream! Such a fun evening with some of our favorite people! All in all we had a great Halloween weekend. I was a little bummed at first that we didn’t have a big party since Halloween was on a Saturday, but there is always next year. And to be honest, this one was pretty fang-tastic!

And like that…October is GONE and November is here. As someone who LOVES Halloween and October, I always get a little sad when the month is over. I was so busy this month it just flew by! I’m just glad we still got to do a lot of fun “fall” things. Until next year October/Halloween…you will be missed!

And last but not least I will be doing my 30 Days of Thankfulness on the blog again. Feel free to join me…first post should be this Friday. Have a great start to your week!
XoXo